Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God Over the Board

I meant to write an update on the upcoming Zonal event, but something that organiser Graeme Gardiner said in his email to me yesterday caused me to dig into the ACF's newsletter archives. During my research, I came across a letter from one Peter Hanna. Said he (in ACF Bulletin No. 61 - 9 April, 2000):

For the sake of a level playing field (chess board) chess authorities are going to issue guidelines as to what constitutes "drug" use by chess players. In the same vein we should consider players calling on God's help. If God does help, the player has obtained an unfair advantage, but if God refuses there is still the attempt of cheating. But a conundrum exists if God were to sabotage someone and we were unaware of it. I think the only answer for these unseen problems is for the arbitrator at the beginning of the tournament to issue an edict barring God from the playing room!

Amen to that. Two issues later, famous arbiter Stewart Reuben chipped in with this little tidbit (from ACF Bulletin No. 63 - 1 May, 2000):

When Michael Adams was about 12 years old it was his practice to stare at the ceiling when playing, often even when it was his move. I asked him what his reason for doing this was. His reply made me realise there was hope for the taciturn lad yet. He said, "I'm asking God for help". I did wonder whether I should forfeit him.

But those are not the best parts. Check out Gail Young's reply to Hanna in bulletin no. 62!


Anonymous said...

So is someone trying to push for having a prayer inserted into the opening ceremony for the zonal?

If such is the case then I would surmise its permissibility would depend on FIDE protocols.

The Closet Grandmaster said...